OCI Nitrogen has renewed and optimised 250 railway tank cars that transport ammonia. All tank cars have been fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS). Additional measures will also be taken in the short term to increase safety during transport and when the tank cars are stationary.
The GPS means that the location of the tank cars can be determined accurately. Details of the speed, the mileage and the outside temperature are also available. “The GPS allows us to work more efficiently. We and our clients can monitor the fleet and respond effectively to any delays,” says Eddie van Aachen, Supply Chain Director. “Clients have limited storage space and the ammonia is therefore supplied regularly and in small quantities. Volumes, as well as arrival and departure times, used to be entered manually. That now takes place automatically, which reduces the risk of errors.” As the location of the tank cars is now clear, the transporter can be contacted and action can be taken if a tank car is stationary for no obvious reason.
The tank cars also have the latest safety features. The possibilities offered by GPS go much further. GPS can also register temperature or a collision. “The most important thing for us now is to know where the tank car is travelling or where it is laid up,” says van Aachen. Every tank car has crash buffers and protective shields. These features minimise or prevent impacts at the front or rear of the tank car. The risk of direct damage to the actual tank is further restricted as a result.